Sunday, April 1, 2018

Exposing The Legalistic Gospel Of Roman Catholicism

  • Consider The Words Of Former Presbyterian Minister Turned Roman Catholic Dr. Scott Hahn From His Conversion Testimonial Rome Sweet Home In Regards To His So-Called "Discovery" Of "Sola Fide" (Faith Alone) Being Unscriptural:
          -"I wrote that research paper fully convinced after much study that, if you get it wrong on this point, you get it wrong on everything else. If you say faith plus anything, you have polluted the simple truth of the Gospel...God is not just simply a judge; God is a father, and his judgments are fatherly. Christ is not just somebody who represents an innocent victim who takes our rap, our penalty...He is our oldest brother in the family, and he sees us as runaways, as prodigals, as rebels who are cut off from the life of God's family. And by the new covenant Christ doesn't just exchange in a legal sense; Christ gives us His own sonship so that we really become children of God. When I shared this with my friends, they were like, "Yeah, that's Paul."...So I came to the conclusion that sola fide is wrong...the Bible never says it anywhere."
  • The Official Teachings Of Roman Catholicism Unfortunately Reflect This Mindset Of Keeping Laws In Order To Be Saved (In Addition To Their Faith In God): 
          -"The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law, because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation. In recalling the prescriptions of the natural law, the Magisterium of the Church exercises an essential part of its prophetic office of proclaiming to men what they truly are and reminding them of what they should be before God." (CCC # 2036)
          -"The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; the Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments." (CCC # 2068)

          It is largely due to all this emotional hype that the biblical gospel is oftentimes presented in a distorted manner. We cannot simply soften the problem, which is sin. God is our judge. He is our sovereign king. That is precisely who He is. God is not only a God of love, but is also a God is truth, goodness, and righteousness. The fact of the matter is that sin provokes God to wrath, and it is because of that we deserve to perish eternally in hell. He cannot, and will not, tolerate the presence of sin. It is out of His love for us that He provided His Son Jesus Christ as a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of mankind. God cancelled out our legal debt against Him by giving Himself up as a ransom. We must have our sins forgiven and removed. He declares us to be righteous in His sight. We do not deserve Christ's righteousness, anymore than He deserved to bear our sin. That is the binding, legal transaction which takes place in the court of God. In Judgement day, we will either face Him as Savior or as Judge. We cannot simply blur distinctions in His character.

          Perhaps the strongest biblical evidence against justification being earned on the basis of human efforts can be found in the Book of Galatians. In it, the Apostle Paul announces a strong rebuke to those who add anything to faith in Christ for salvation. Notice how he addressed the people who were guilty of embracing the Judaizing heresy, which maintained that a person must be both circumcised and obey the Mosaic Law in order to be saved (Acts 15:1-5):
  • Justification Is By Faith, Apart From The Merit Of Any And All Good Works:
          -"now that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16)
    • Those Who Add Their Works To Faith In Christ For Salvation Are In Reality Frustrating And Nullifying The Grace Of God:
              -"I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (Galatians 2:21)
    • Scripture Equates Doing Good Deeds With The Intention Of Meriting Justification With Living According To The Flesh:
              -"I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain?" (Galatians 3:2-4)
    • Those Who Strive To Be Justified By The Law Must Do So Perfectly:
              -"For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” (Galatians 3:10-11)
    • Scripture Affirms That Everybody Has Broken God's Commandments. Thus, Seeking Justification Through Keeping The Law Has Been Rendered Impossible:
              -"But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe." (Galatians 3:22)
    • In Fact, Those Who Seek Justification By Works Have Severed Themselves From God's Grace:
              -"You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope." (Galatians 5:4-5)
    • A Works-Based Gospel Is A Complete Departure From The Sufficiency Of Christ, And So Is A False Gospel Which Has No Power To Save:
              -"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!" (Galatians 1:6-9)

              To instate a formulaic, works-based system of justification (as does the Church of Rome) undermines the work that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross at Calvary.

    1 comment:

    1. Good points Jesse, the article is very well written. I saw only one mistake. You accidently misspelled the word the on "those who strive to be justified by Te Law...". I'm just trying to be helpful, please don't take it as a criticism.